Traumatic Rostral Maxillectomy on Chihuahua

A four year old chihuahua presented to Veterinary Dental Specialties and Oral Surgery following a fight with a larger dog.  There was severe oral trauma and a jaw fracture was suspected.

The patient was sedated and a complete oral exam with dental radiographs were performed.  This revealed the front part of the upper jaw and palate were completely missing with the nasal cavity exposed.

Figure 1 P{re-operative

Figure 1: Pre-operative picture showing the large area of missing jaw. The canine and incisor teeth are gone and there is exposure of the nasal cavity.

Half of the patients upper jaw were literally eaten by the larger dog in one bite. Luckily, the dental radiographs revealed that there were no root tips present nor were there any evidence of additional fractures

The sharp edges of bone were smoothed and the soft tissue was closed with absorbable suture material.  The result was quite cosmetic.

Figure 3: Post-operative picture confirming good closure of the defect and a cosmetic result.

The patient recovered very well following surgery and was eating on his own the next day. While very traumatic, the patient went on to a full recovery other than a slight sneer.

Figure 3: Post-operative picture showing that the defect is hardly evident. The patient is happy and fully functional.